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Assays detect Z drugs; Zopiclone, Zaleplon and Zolpidem

Three new ELISA testing kits are designed for the detection of sedative drugs Zopiclone, Zaleplon and Zolpidem. These drugs behave in a similar ways to benzodiazepines, a psychoactive drug which was traditionally used for the treatment of anxiety or insomnia. The Z drugs are found in prescription medications, however they should only be used for a short time period as extended use can lead to tolerance.

The misuse of Z drugs is widespread as a result of both dependence and recreational use. Despite medical advice, many people continue to take these drugs for longer periods than their intended usage; leading to a potential over-dose and hazardous consequences. Incidents of unusual or inappropriate behaviour have been linked to misuse of Z drugs, were the patient had no memory of their actions. Some users have reported sleepwalking, sleep driving, binge eating, and performing other daily tasks while asleep. These side effects are troubling in a society were sleeping pills have boomed in popularity.

The three ELISA kits detect Z drugs in urine and blood specimens. The Zolpidem ELISA offers a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.4ng/ml in urine and 0.52ng/ml in blood. Manufacturer says the Zopiclone and Zaleplon ELISA kits are the first immunoassays available for the rapid detection of these drugs. Prior to this, the only way to detect Zopiclone and Zaleplon was with timely chromatographic analysis. Randox Toxicology

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